Future Nintendo Devices To Be Inspired By iOS And Android Operating Systems

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As previously reported, Nintendo integrated its console and portable hardware development divisions into a single group. The company did this with the intent of allowing for both their consoles and portables to share a similar architecture and, as a result, play the same games on both platforms.


Speaking with investors and analysts, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed this move in a little more detail.


“For example, currently it requires a huge amount of effort to port Wii software to Nintendo 3DS because not only their resolutions but also the methods of software development are entirely different,” says Iwata. “The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U. If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms.”


Iwata goes on to say that this could mean Nintendo will be able to release multiple form factors based on these devices in the future, in the same manner that the iOS and Android operating systems power a large number of devices that come in all shapes and sizes.


“To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS,” Iwata stated. “Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples.”


Iwata also shared that this initiative will begin with Nintendo’s next platform, and that Nintendo hope to take advantage of the Wii U architecture, and carry it forward.


“It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately,” Iwata clarified. “When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems.”

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.